Thursday, March 10, 2011

Quebec Media Unrepresentatitve of Reality

As might be expected, reaction to Premier Charest's plan to require francophone grade six student to undergo half  a year of intense English instruction drew a firestorm of criticism not only from the language militants and separatist forces, but surprisingly in the mainstream media as well.

A brief Google search by myself indicated that over 90% of stories on the OP-ED pages of mainstream newspapers were either lukewarm or negative towards the idea. It was hard to find more than a few stories that actually supported the government's proposal.
Of course when it came to the unions, the separatist and nationalist, French language doomsayers, the reaction bordered on the absurd, with predictions of gloom and doom making up the bulk of the stories, but that of course was to be expected.

An article in Le Devoir points out that Premier Charest likely announced this new policy after conducting internal polling that indicated that the public was largely in favour of increased English instruction, but you'd never find that to be the case by reading reactions in the media.
In fact that very same article went on to quote a language expert, Christian Dufour, who offered a myriad of reasons why the idea of increased English instruction is dangerous, something to be avoided at all costs.

It's interesting that to date we haven't heard from any of the pollsters concerning Mr. Charest's plan, which is usually the case when a controversial proposal is made. I'm sure that we'd find that the opinions of Quebeckers, don't match what is being said in the media, not even close.

The truth remains that the Quebec media is dominated by those who don't represent popular opinion and that separatists and left-wingers are badly over-represented.

For the purpose of this discussion, I'll limit myself to television, because that is were the majority of Quebeckers get their news and where they are exposed to editorial opinion.

Newspaper editorials and opinion pieces, as well as Internet political websites represent a tiny fraction of this sensibilization. Readers here, are more educated and critical. (as evidenced on this blog!) and tend to be more politicized and opinionated, much harder to push off their conservative or liberal predisposition.

The real battleground is television, where the evening newscast and the choice of editors in the political content of stories covered, help shape public opinion.

"The medium is the message" is a phrase coined by Marshall McLuhan, which dictates that what the media decides to cover as newsworthy, shapes our opinion regardless of the point of view of the story.
If the media carries many stories about French students attending English cegeps, the public is conditioned to believe that there is a problem there, regardless of whether both sides of the issue is explored.

The same goes for the ongoing discussions of shale gas exploration. The fact that the media dwells to such an extent on the subject leads the public to conclude that the issue is important.
Sometimes the media exposure is warranted (as in the case of shale gas) and sometimes it is not, (as is the case of English cegeps.) 

Unlike English Canada, Quebec is rather limited in television choices and particularly in the realm of news and current events. That is why the Radio Canada (the French CBC) plays a much bigger role in shaping Quebec public opinion than does the CBC in English Canada, which is forced to compete not only with CTV and Global, but news organizations in the USA, such as FOX news and CNN.
Soon Canada will get a conservative news channel, insuring that the public is exposed to even a wider realm of all manner of ideas.

The impact of Radio Canada in Quebec cannot be underestimated and the fact that editorially it's optic is so largely far-left and separatist is clearly disturbing.

This opinion is not exclusively mine, Radio Canada has been described as being run by the CLIQUE DU PLATEAU by better pundits than I, a denigrating term to describe the ultra-liberal separatists who make up the majority of the on and off-air staff at the crown corporation (ironic, eh!)
"The Clique du Plateau is a term used to describe a certain elite, an intelligentsia, real or fictitious, made up of people who have an important influence on culture and media across Quebec from Montreal, and more precisely one of its neighbourhoods, the Plateau Mont-Royal, home to an artistic community....The Clique du Plateau is often accused of being associated with the political left and socialism and is considered diametrically opposite to centrists and rightist ideology, including that of the Action Democratique du Quebec. It also sometimes involves the PQ and the sovereignty ideology." Wikipedia{Fr}
And so everyday we are treated to interviews and discussions on language issues, most (but not all) from a nationalistic point of view, giving  an over-weighted relevance to the issue.

The 'Clique' is wildly anti-conservative, pro-sovereignist, anti-Canada, anti-USA and of course anti-Israel.
Sometimes, as in the case of Israel, reporters are so biased that they are called to task as in the case of an on-air interviewer who likened Israel to Iran. LINK 
Simon Durivage was forced to apologize on-air when the corporation's own ombudsman condemned his characterization. LINK
Recently the network came under intense fire for airing a 'documentary' on the influence of evangelical Christians on the Harper government. The program was so biased and nasty that a firestorm of criticism erupted. I shall perhaps have something to say on that subject in a future post.  Watch the show

It's not likely that the program in question, "Enquete" will air an exposé anytime in the future, concerning the inordinate amount of influence that unions hold on the Parti Quebecois!
This of course, is an example of how editorial choices and the subjects chosen to be covered by Radio Canada, affect and shape public opinion.

What remains interesting is that despite the bombardment of anti-Canada and anti-English opinions put forward, Quebeckers continue to resist falling for the propaganda.

While Quebeckers are reminded and threatened each day that sending their children to English school or teaching them English in any enhanced manner, diminishes the French character of Quebec, they continue to resist, and opinion polls demonstrate that the majority want English instruction.

Perhaps it is the selfish notion that parents of all nationalities, creeds and languages share, the desire to give their children the very best chance in life to succeed, this despite the brain-washing campaign being waged against them.

It leads us to wonder what would be the political reality if fairness and balance was returned to our airwaves.


  1. Editor: “Soon Canada will get a conservative news channel, insuring that the public is exposed to even a wider realm of all manner of ideas.”

    It’s about time. I just hope the channel will be truly conservative, not neo-conservative (like Fox News). The New Right conservatism and neo-conservatism have very little to do with real conservatism.

    A channel dedicated to the promotion of conservative values (like fiscal responsibility and self-reliance) is badly needed in this country. The social-democratic model has had a monopoly over this country for too long. A co-worker of mine (originally from ON) once remarked that he’s happy that our taxes are so high, because that “guarantees” a high degree of “social services”. This type of sheep mentality of deference (that includes turning over half of our income) to the government-because the government knows best- is the type of mentality that has to be challenged if this country is to progress.

    And Marshall McLuhan was totally right. The media shapes public option, and if it suits its interests, it can turn a complete idiot into a statesman, or as easily it can turn a statesman into an idiot (if the individual is a threat to the interests of the media, as in the case of Ron Paul, for example)

  2. @adski

    Toujours parmi nous?Rarement vu un maso de votre espèce.Marshall McLuhan....Vous n'auriez pas des références plus récentes par hasard?

  3. "A channel dedicated to the promotion of conservative values..."

    Je prévois un grand succès de cette chaîne au Québec.Ha!Vous savez adski c'est très beau mississauga et c'est aussi le royaume du donut.

  4. Le Devoir is the best Canadian journal. They don't make primitive analyze. I don't think there is an equivalent in english Canada.

  5. "It leads us to wonder what would be the political reality if fairness and balance was returned to our airwaves."

    You article sums up my impression of the media in quebec, it is so bang on. I think you sum it up nicely in that last line.
    that Radio Canada and RDOui are so slanted to nationlism has allways been a puzzle, aren't thay the french canadian national broadcaster, they forgot to tell them national of canada, not quebec.

  6. May I add that as far as Quebec media is concerned, Duceppe is a perfect example of a complete idiot persistently sold as a statesman, whereas Bernier is a perfect example of a statesman sold as an idiot.

  7. "...The French-Canadian newspaper Le Devoir – can you imagine a British paper selling a single copy if it called itself "Duty"? "

    Robert Fisk, The Independent

  8. Maxime Bernier a statesman? In what kind of twisted world are you living in? The guy was a complete disaster and an utter failure as a minister. As for Duceppe, I've heard many english canadians say that they would love to be ablo to have a guy like him in their province.

    As for the blog post itself, I guess that if you vew this website's content as "fair and balanced", that's going to skew your worldview quite a bit. Also, as usual, it brings a total and absolute lack of proof to back up it's claim.

    In addition, many many Canadians outside Québec have the same concerns about the CPC that Enquête exposed. It's a great show btw, I don't think the RoC has an equivalent. The 5th Estate maybe?

  9. "...Bernier is a perfect example of a statesman sold as an idiot."

    Un homme d'état qui donne des Jos-Louis aux soldats?Qui a des fréquentations plus que douteuses?Et qui égare des documents officiels ultra confidentiels?Ce vendu de faux-cul de première classe?

    Wow!Si c'est un homme d'État exemplaire pour les canadians,je suis heureux d'être Québécois.

  10. "...they forgot to tell them national of canada..."

    Le canada est une nation? Hmmm...

  11. "I just hope the channel will be truly conservative, not neo-conservative "
    Do you mean libertarian? hope not.

  12. "May I add that as far as Quebec media is concerned, Duceppe is a perfect example of a complete idiot persistently sold as a statesman, whereas Bernier is a perfect example of a statesman sold as an idiot."

    Wow nicely said, love the phrase i may use it as a sig here and there.

  13. "Le canada est une nation? Hmmm..."

    Yes, it is, i guess you missed and failed history clases. See there is even a Canadian currency ... oh wait you are using seppie logic, man did you fool me, i thought you rode a short bus and needed to be informed. Now i see you ran out of ceinture flechée and needed to write an idiotic comment and show your true colours, what an insult to short bus riders i made by assuming you were one of them.

  14. Chénier dit: À Adski:''"...The French-Canadian newspaper Le Devoir – can you imagine a British paper selling a single copy if it called itself "Duty"? "Robert Fisk, The Independent '' Que dire d'un journal qui s'appelle ''The Times'', faut pas se prendre pour le nombril du monde... Comme si le monde s'arrêtait à ce qui se passe à Londres... Pathétique ! Plus près de nous, le ''National Post'', vu ce qu'il accorde au Québec dans ses pages, il est hautement prétentieux de se qualifier de ''National''. Fisk est un bon reporter ''Independent'' lorsqu'il parle du Moyen-Orient. Lorsqu'il parle de choses qu'il ne connaît pas, c'est quelqu'un qui dit n'importe quoi, désolé !

  15. @Qq chose de pourri

    Pourriez-vous m'expliquer dans vos mots ce qu'est une Nation et les conditions essentielles a sa constitution et/ou de son existence?

    J'accepterai même la version fédéraste.

    En passant j'ai réussi tout mes cours d'histoire politique.En revanche,je ne suis pas certain que ce soit votre cas,surtout si vous limitez l'union des 10 provinces a la devise commune ou au passeport.

  16. @Chénier

    Tu dois commencer a connaître Monsieur adski,c'est probablement l'anglo le plus méprisant envers notre Nation,sa terre d'acceuil que je connais.

    Il faut le prendre pour ce qu'il est réellement:
    Un maso rigolo qui ne connait pas la route vers l'ontario.Il confond 101 et 401...Pauvre bougre.

    Quoiqu'il en soit merci de lui remettre les pendules a l' l'Est.

  17. AngloBuster said..."Le canada est une nation? Hmmm..."
    Yes, it explains why your passport says "Canada" on the front and not "The People's Democratic Republic of Quebec".

    If Radio Canada's main function is as a mouthpiece for the Blockheads and the PQ, I don't know why the feds haven't pulled the plug on it years ago.

  18. "Readers here, are more educated and critical." ... than the Quebeckers ... this is pretty pathetic... Mr. Editor.

    Je ne suis pas tout à fait d'accord.. La plupart des gens sur le blog nie l'histoire du Québec et de la France qui s'y rattache.

    Bon voyons, qu'est ce qu'une nation ?

    Etymologie : du latin natio, naissance, extraction, dérivant de natus, né.

    Une nation est une communauté humaine ayant conscience d'être unie par une identité historique, culturelle, linguistique ou religieuse. En tant qu'entité politique, la nation, qui est un concept né de la construction des grands Etats européens, est une communauté caractérisée par un territoire propre, organisée en Etat. Elle est la personne juridique constituée des personnes régies par une même constitution.

    Il y a aussi un système de valeurs, souvent résumé en une devise et qui repose sur un contrat social implicite entre les membres de la nation. Pour certains sociologues, il faut que les membres d'une communauté soient convaincus qu'ils relèvent d'une même appartenance nationale.

    En France, depuis la Révolution, la nation est un ensemble de citoyens détenant la puissance politique (souveraineté). Il y a superposition entre la nation, le peuple et l'Etat auquel la nation délègue sa souveraineté.
    "Le principe de toute souveraineté réside essentiellement dans la Nation" (Déclaration des Droits de l'Homme et du Citoyen).

    Toutes les nations ne sont pas constituées en Etat. Exemple : la nation kurde qui géographiquement est répartie en Turquie, Irak et Syrie.

    Certaines communautés ou sous-ensembles d'une communauté revendiquent l'appartenance à une nation alors qu'elles dépendent d'un Etat géographiquement plus étendu (Ex : les Basques, les Québécois, les Ecossais, les Catalans, Les Flamands, les Corses...). Elles peuvent trouver une relative autonomie au sein d'institutions fédéralisées.

  19. Bravo Étoile!

    mais j'aurais aimé que ce soit Monsieur "Qq chose de pourri" (dans le royaume du Danemark) qui réponde a la question.

    Merci tout de même.

  20. Harpon: I take a short hiatus and already you're making cracks about "Mississauga".

    OK, enough said of that cretin, and his skull full of creton a.k.a. minced merde!

    As far as I'm concerned, Quebec is a fascist state thus, ergo and therefore I left there going on 27 years ago. The media is vitriolic? QUEL SURPRISE! Late this year will mark 35 years that a separatist party was elected to power, a party that embellished on and encouraged racist, fascist rhetoric against anything and everything that wasn't and still isn't «pur laine».

    Why doesn't the Quebec of today surprise me? If the majority are so against the irrational "dangers" English imposes on their culture, why does Premier John James "Goldilocks" Charest enforce the language issues like a separatist government? He even ignored the plight of a young boy who had to go to Delaware to obtain English schooling when The Great Charter of Quebec allows for children with marked learning challenges in Section 81 and humanitarian considerations in Section 85.1.

    I've met thousands of ex-Montrealers out here, and I only know of four who have returned to Montreal. Most others won't even THINK of going back. I know I won't, not now, not ever, so Harpon, put on your Pepsi and May West face and smile, smile, smile!

  21. LOL The short bus riders ride again, seppie logic at it's best, tryin to argue that Canada us nit a nation, argument made using seppie logic always tend to be flawed. By etoiles definition and other short bus riders Switzerland would no be z nation. Go back to your bouguon schemes.

  22. Let's use non seppie definition:
    one possible is the following:
    a large body of people, associated with a particular territory, that is sufficiently conscious of its unity to seek or to possess a government peculiarly its own.

    There nation is not just about ethnic cleanliness like prefontaine, l'etoile, anglobuster and all like minded short bus rider love to do.

  23. You are all like old bridge players, making the rules for yourselves only ! The English Canadian Separatists are in short the new hockey players bashers, with a death wish and love to put the Quebeckers on the cleanliness death line on account of culture and language which they hate, they hate, they hate, they hate, they hate, oops... the record is broken.... the english record is broken... the english record is broken...
    the basher, the mississauga, the adski, the qqchose de pourri, the Harpon, the ....the anglos anti-francos, the anglos anti....

  24. "There nation is not just about ethnic cleanliness like prefontaine, l'etoile, anglobuster and all like minded short bus rider love to do. "

    You are wrong YOU are for the cleanliness on French, ANGLAIS SEPARATISTES !

  25. Here we go another anonymous short bus rider, anglais separatiste lol calling me a separatist now that is low lol.
    Silly ethnic cleanser that you are, bill 101 was made by whom again? who put up bombs in the 60's on, yeah right. Take your bus and go back to lac St-jean. Man the delusions of the seppies is ridiculous, i still rememeber arguing with one of those sb riders on the fact the day quebec separates you lose your citizenship, he kept claiming international law guarantees it, so funny. They are so selfish, just like children they want independance while keeping all the benefits.

  26. "OK, enough said of that cretin, and his skull full of creton a.k.a. minced merde!"

    Les cretons ne sont rien d'autre que du porc haché dans lequel on ajoute des épices et quelques aromates selon la région.Il s'agit du même porc que l'on retrouve chez votre ami Schwartz's.

    C'est en quelque sorte une version Québécoise de la rillette (les rillettes) de nos cousins Français mais en moins raffinné.

    Contrairement aux donuts,on connait l'origine de ce plat exquis soit dit en passant.

  27. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  28. "Il s'agit du même porc que l'on retrouve chez votre ami Schwartz's."

    lol lol lol that is so seppie, pork at schwartz's man please stop it, i am laughing so hard at how stupid you are, no wonder you ride a short bus.

  29. " wonder you ride a short bus."

    Comment savez-vous que je suis conducteur de bus?

  30. Short bus----

    1. noun. (derogetory) school bus shorter in length than a conventional school bus commonly used to transport students with physical or mental handicaps.

    2. adjective. (derogetory) describes student who rides such a bus.

    3. adjective. (derogetory) lacking in mental capacity, or stupid. See also retarded.

  31. @Editor


    Alors comment sait-il que je suis retardé?

  32. YO, Indigène: «Les cretons ne sont rien d'autre que du porc haché dans lequel on ajoute des épices » YES! Porc haché EST merde haché! You NEED to put a lot of «épices» in there because it's «merde pur» and you need the spice to mask the low quality and vomitous taste of it! I wouldn't feed ground pork to a DOG! There is a reason there are religions that consider pork the forbidden meat! My girlfriend once accidentally bought it instead of ground beef and it ended up in the garbage. MAGOT FOOD!

  33. Editor you spoiled the fun, the barely English seppie that post here had no clue, you need to let discover the English of the Internet tools, all they have is

  34. @Qque chose de pourri

    J'abandonne.Vous semblez effectivement possèder une intelligence supérieure a la moyenne.
    Cependant,la subtilité de notre langue semble vous échapper complètement.Croyez-vous réellement que je ne sais pas que le porc est une viande bannie chez les Juifs depuis la nuit des temps?Que je ne connais pas la différence entre drive et ride?Que nous n'avons pas de bus adaptés pour déficients? Malgré vos grandes capacités intellectuelles,je vous conseille tout de même de rester humble car vous pourriez un jour tomber sur une personne plus fûtée que vous et cela même si elle n'a que la station TVA comme source d'informations.

  35. So first you post as anonymous that comment, which was obviously stupid, an a lame attempt at a swipe, made me laugh. I am still laughing.
    Second I doubt that someone who has only TVA would have any brain cells left after watching that crap for 2 long.
    Tertio la subtilité de votre ne m'échappe absolument, car je suis parfaitement bilingue.
    Now go take that bus :)

  36. "la subtilité de votre(...) ne m'échappe absolument(...), car je suis parfaitement bilingue"

    Yeah right

  37. Ok, enough about the trolls who seem to take everything off topic with their slurs and innuendoes. The truth is even if I spoke French, I wouldn't want to be seen in the French media.

    Howard Galganov, with his blog and literature, has gone on French TV and radio only to be manipulatively sound edited and dubbed to villify him more than he already is in the French (and English) media in Quebec. Even if you don't like H.G., he does try to act in an open minded way when approached to promulgate his views, but in light of the editing, he won't do it anymore in French.

    Unfortunately, TV news is all sensationalism now and has been for the last 30-odd years. It's indignant, it's disgraceful and just plain indecent. Suddenly every utterance by Charlie Sheen now is news. The NBA interrupted the final round of the playoffs to televise the O.J. Bronco chase. That to me still stands as the ultimate in TV news stupidity. Lindsay Lohan and Naomi Campbell and their ongoing and ongoing and ongoing social faux pas are not far behind the O.J. B.S.

    As bad as American news sensationalism is, Quebec's is even worse when they have to dub and edit what people are actually saying. Since the Quiet Revolution, Quebec has barely progressed as a collective society. Pathetic.

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  39. What do you really know apart from negativity about the Quebeckers?

  40. "What do you really know apart from negativity about the Quebeckers? "

    - That the language is beautiful
    - That the people for the most part are truly awesome individuals
    - That the culture is a truly unique one that Canada would be lost without.
    - The Habs
    - The festivals

    Unfortunately, all this and more gets tarnished by the image of the brainwashed seppie.

  41. Anglo rights are limited in Quebec: F A C T S